Individual research studies act as building blocks for further research. This composite effect leads to a deeper understanding of the subject being researched.
For many years chiropractic has done more than decrease or remove pain and muscle tension. It has helped with patients' general well-being. For example, enhanced energy levels are often noticed after treatment. This is likely to be due to reduced muscle spasm (excessive contraction) using up one's energy.
Other benefits of chiropractic treatment that are often reported include better sleep, improved balance and concentration. Now, chiropractic research is gradually explaining the effects that chiropractic adjustments have on the function of the brain and nervous system.
There are still many positive effects related to chiropractic that have been noticed by both chiropractors and patients over the years but are yet to be explained. Improvement in technology has greatly assisted recent research such as the example below re the prefrontal cortex of the brain.
This page will be regularly updated to provide the latest chiropractic research.
Chiropractic Enhances Brain Function
Simplified Illustration of Prefrontal Cortex
This recent study discusses the beneficial effects of chiropractic adjustment on the human brain:
Lelic, Dina et al. "Manipulation Of Dysfunctional Spinal Joints Affects Sensorimotor Integration In The Prefrontal Cortex: A Brain Source Localization Study". Neural Plasticity 2016 (2016): 1-9. Web. 6 May 2016.
A brief summary of this research, which I have taken from page 7 includes the following:
The study indicates that at least in part, the improvement to brain function brought about by chiropractic treatment is due to changes to the prefrontal cortex (please refer to diagram). This area is important for what is referred to as 'executive function' of the brain which is the coordination and integration of more than one neural system. Executive function occurs when we achieve goals and solve problems based on constant environmental change.
How does the prefrontal cortex help with achieving goals ? It does this by allowing us to plan a lot of smaller sub-tasks to reach a particular goal. It lets us to focus on relevant information and dismiss that which is irrelevant. It helps us switch between tasks, monitor our memory, initiate activity and respond to stimuli.
This research supports the improvement in brain function that many chiropractic patients have noticed after receiving treatment. Examples of these functions include:
In summary, chiropractic treatment, by treating joint dysfunction, appears to have benefits that go far beyond pain reduction and improvement of muscle function - we now have proof that it improves processes governed by the prefrontal cortex.